WINNIPEG -- Fire forced guests and the Grey Cup out of Kenora’s Clarion Lakeside Inn Friday afternoon.

Todd Skene, fire chief of Kenora Fire and Emergency Service, told CTV News the flames were reported around 3:30 p.m.

He said the fire started under a deck and a nearby vehicle was also burned in the blaze, which took about 30 firefighters to extinguish.

Skene said all of the hotel guests were evacuated safely and no one was injured.

The exact number of guests staying inside the hotel us unkown but Skene said the number was relatively small.

Guests were directed to an evacuation/warming centre at Kenora Recreation Centre across the street.

They were eventually transferred to other hotels.

Photos and video shared to social media show smoke surrounding the rotunda-style structure located on 1st Avenue.

The roadway was closed between 4th Avenue South and 5th Street, police said in a tweet Friday afternoon.

The fire was out by around 8 p.m.

Skene said the hotel was slightly damaged but overall the building remains “in good shape”.


As the fire broke out at the hotel Friday, an historic trophy was in the middle of it all.

The Grey Cup and several members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers organization made several stops at high schools for a Grey Cup tour, before spending the night at the Clarion Lakeside Inn.

Trevor Finch, the fan engagement manager for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, said he and Winnipeg Blue Bombers fullback John Rush were having dinner at the hotel when they noticed smoke.

Shortly after, the fire alarm went off and staff told them they needed to evacuate.

“I looked at John and he looked at me, and we both said, ‘get the Cup,’” said Finch

Finch said Rush retrieved the trophy before exiting the building, “John was in charge of making sure the cup was safe, let those big football hands take care of it.”

The Bombers staff and Grey Cup continued its tour without delay and visiting a bingo hall on Saturday.

Finch even joked, “We had an epic win to end the 29 year drought and it just keeps getting more epic.”

-with files from Megan Benedictson and Mason DePatie